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Reflections
Volume: 40, Issue: 2 (2012)
Articles
College Servants In An Oxford College Forty Years Ago
The article has a double purpose. It illustrates how valuable practical experience in oral history can be as a teaching device for first-degree students in history, not just for their historical studies but for their subsequent careers.But it also illuminates important but neglected topics in twentieth-century British social history: the evolution of personal service; changes in undergraduate life; structural factors influencing class consciousness; changes in the social context within which British elite education has been conducted, and neglected influences on working-class political attitudes.
Author(s): Brian Harrison
Keywords: Servants, class-consciousness, universities, teaching history , Oxford


Grassroots Journalists, Citizen Historians: The Interview As Journalistic Genre And History Methodology
This article aims to compare oral history’s and journalism’s experiences from the practice of the interview. As ways of understanding the universe, the fields of history and journalism would seem to methodologically approximate each other through the experience of the interview. No conclusion, however, is more misleading. The goal of this work is to assess what each of these disciplines has to say about this methodology, what their particular understandings about it are, and how history, in particular, can benefit from a hybrid research methodology, using techniques borrowed from journalism. The theoretical arguments are illustrated with some of the situations faced by the researcher during his fieldwork at Maré, a complex of sixteen favelas at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
Author(s): Viktor Chagas
Keywords: Interview, oral history, citizen journalism, event, favela 


‘All In It Together’ And ‘Backs To The Wall’: Relating Patriotism And The People’s War In The 21st Century
This paper explores the relationship between the past and the present through narratives of service in the Second World War, focusing in particular on the concepts of the People’s War and patriotism in relation to composure. It is based on interviews conducted predominantly at the turn of this century and focused on the period between 1940 and 1944. It reveals how the powerful wartime motifs of ‘all in it together’ and ‘doing your bit’ supported composure by supplying a narrative framework shared and readily understood by both interview partners, and one which finds little contestation in other public arenas. ‘Patriotism’, however, proved a term more likely to provoke discomposure. When the connotations of the vocabulary of the past bear little relation to those of the present, the aspects of experience, which they describe have to be reframed. Discomposure has been viewed as evidence of the power of public discourse in silencing memories: this paper argues that it signals the experience of disjuncture and invites further investigation if the interviewer is alert to its implications. 
Author(s): Corinna Peniston-Bird
Keywords: Home Guard, Second World War, People’s War, composure, discomposure, patriotism 


Fundamental Issues In Finnish Oral History Studies
Seen from an international perspective, the field of oral history studies is broad and multifarious. In Finland, too, research is carried out from numerous different perspectives, although the actual academic oral history movement did not gain a footing in this country until the beginning of the 1990s. The development and exchange of views about methodology for over just over two decades has been so lively in Finland that one can consider a methodological orientation to be a characteristic of current Finnish oral history studies. These methodological discussions have also brought together Finnish historians, folklorists, ethnologists and sociologists dealing with oral history studies. All these scholars pay close attention to the contexts of their research and ask themselves: What and how do people tell about their own past? To whom, and for what purpose, do they talk about it? How do they themselves interpret their narration orally and in writing? How do people tell about themselves? This article discusses these issues within the context of developments in Finnish oral history.  
Author(s): Outi Fingerroos and Riina Haanpää
Keywords: Finnish oral history, Finnish folklore, narrative studies, archived interviews, oral history methodology


Reflections
Dig Where You Stand – Using Local Lives To Generate Community In Milton Keynes
Author(s): Roger Kitchen


Public History
Foundling Voices
This article gives an overview of the Foundling Voices project, which recorded oral history interviews with seventy-four men and women who grew up in institutional care in the first half of the twentieth century. Particular emphasis is given to the divergence of opinion expressed within the interviews regarding the quality of care provided by the Foundling Hospital, the institution in question. The complexity of curating an exhibition that represented all these disparate viewpoints is also explored. Finally the article looks at the methods that curators can employ to ensure that the voices of interviewees are placed at the heart of oral history exhibitions, and strategies for preserving the vibrancy of these voices throughout the production phases. 
Author(s): Sarah Lowry and Alison Duke
Keywords: Institutional care, curating, exhibitions, Foundling Hospital, integrity 


Learning
Experiment, Share, Revise: Learning Through Oral History And Digital Story-Telling
Author(s): Martin Bazley: in conversation


Reviews
‘Jews And Other Foreigners’: Manchester And The Rescue Of The Victims Of European Fascism, 1933-1940
Author(s): Bill Williams